No pre-poll alliance with Goa Forward a mistake: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh

Panji: Around one-and-a-half month after the Congress failed to grab the opportunity to form government in Goa, party leader Digvijaya Singh today said “not having a pre-poll alliance with the Goa Forward Party” was a “mistake”.

“Our mistake was not to go for a pre-poll alliance with the Goa Forward headed by Vijay Sardesai which was seen to be anti Parrikar and BJP (sic),” the Congress general secretary said in a series of tweets on Thursday.

Singh, whose tweets are apparently in reaction to media reports that political developments in Goa indicate that “India is becoming Congress-mukt (Congress-free)”, for the first time said not having a pre-poll alliance with the Goa Forward Party was a “mistake”.

The Congress leader, in his tweets, has termed as “totally biased” the media’s view that the party took time to decide their leader after it won a majority of seats in the Goa Assembly election, the result of which was announced on March 11.

“Totally biased and wrong on facts. Congress didn’t take more than few hours to decide CLP Leader and Rahulji had given free hand,” he tweeted.

About events that unfolded after the results were declared, the Congress’ in-charge of the state tweeted, “But at the last moment Vijay Sardesai joined hands with Parrikar and Gadkari ditching his mentors who wanted him to ally with Congress.”

According to Singh there was a trust deficit between Sardesai and the state Congress leadership.

“But I don’t blame Vijay Sardesai entirely because there was a trust deficit between him and Congress State leadership.

It is only BJP and Parrikar to be blamed to have stolen the mandate of the people of Goa,” he wrote on twitter.

“And Governor who violated the Sarkaria Commission guideline & Supreme Court decisions of inviting single largest party in fractured mandate. Let’s see how long Parrikar can fool the people of Goa for his personal greed and ambition,” Singh said in a series of tweets.

Asked to comment on Singh’s tweets, Sardesai said, “It is too little, too late. It is the high command of the party which is admitting while local leadership is still talking too much.”

He said, “There are some elements in the Congress who have antagonised people (in the past)… Those elements are still existing in the Congress and are very much active.”

Welcoming Singh’s tweets, Sardesai said at the local level, the Congress has not taken any steps to avoid such mistakes in the future.

About the Manohar Parrikar-led alliance government in the state, the minister said, “I am not bothered about what the Congress says or does. Right now, we are in fast forward mode.”

Sardesai claimed there was a “trust deficit” between him and the Congress leaders because the party’s state leadership treated him “like dirt” before the elections.

The Congress emerged as the single largest party winning 17 seats, while the BJP was restricted to 13 Assembly seats.

But the BJP with the support of the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and independents managed to cobble up an alliance and formed the government under leadership of Maniohar Parrikar.